Who I am!
Houngan Hector with Gede Ceremonial Dress
|Blessings to everyone!I hope that all is well, and that I find you in peace, health, harmony, love, and luck.My name is Houngan Hector, and I am an Asogwe priest of Haitian Vodou. I lead Sosyete Gade Nou Leve (“Watch Us Rise Society”) which is based in New Jersey, and has members around the world. But let’s start at the beginning of my story . . . .Both sides of my family have always served the Spirits. On both my mother’s and father’s side, our Ancestors and Guides have been honored, recognized, and served. Traditionally, the Spirits have been passed down from an older member of the family to a younger one, when that individual was ready to start working “la obra” (God’s work).
My story actually began before my birth. My mother was deemed to be the one to inherit my Grandmother’s Guides. My mother, however, did not want to work La Obra as it had been decided for her. She fought, rebelled, and worked very hard at avoiding any sort of spiritual labor. She often remarked about how she was not cut out for that type of lifestyle, preferring to live like a “normal” person.
During my mother’s pregnancy with me, my Grandmother’s Guides informed my mother of their plans. Since she would not serve, the child that was in her would! I would be blessed with spiritual abilities to see and help others with their problems. The Spirits always have a way to solve problems! In my family, we often remark that the Spirits are in the blood, thus once your family serves the Spirits, your family will always serve the Spirits!
I am told that at the hospital, directly after my birth, my Grandmother’s Guides mounted her. They made special signs over my body to demonstrate my role as the one to inherit them. At that point, my mother made an important decision for me. My grandmother would be the one to raise me, as my mother would not know how to deal with what would be happening to me. Thus, she figured, and was right in doing so, that it would be best to have my Grandmother (whom I actually called Mom) raise me and train me. She knew what was best for me.
Throughout my childhood, I lived very well with my Grandmother. I ate well, played, and was generally a quite obedient child. I grew up with a cousin who became like my brother. My childhood, at least in the beginning, was quite normal actually. Although, I can remember, even at the age of five, seeing the Spirits walking through our Home regularly.
Our House was filled with love, good food, and kindness. Not only that, but our living room was often also packed with clients waiting for my Grandmother to see them. My Grandmother had taught us to live by the Three Virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity. These can be summed up as:
We often had house guests who stayed in a spare room of the house. My grandmother was often housing, clothing, and feeding those who couldn’t do so for themselves.
|At the tender age of seven, I was mounted by an ancestor. This was the official beginning of my spiritual journey. After this, my Grandmother carefully explained to me what had happened and revealed to me the events of my birth. My Grandmother encouraged and nurtured the development of my spiritual abilities.Soon after this event, my Grandmother believed it best for me to start honing and using my spiritual abilities as soon as possible. According to her, this was the best way to develop them, while they were fresh and recently manifested. To do this, she had me do readings for some of her clients. Little by little, she would give me more and more readings to do.I often complained about having to do readings and spiritual work instead of playing. She always reminded me that “Spiritual work is something you will have to do for the rest of your life, playing does not contribute to any skill you will need.” Although I couldn’t understand then, I am very grateful now. I was often dreaming different recipes and works that my Guides would show me in order to help my clients.My family is filled with a variety of Espiritismo and other Traditions. My Grandmother worked one form and there were other various forms being practiced in my family. My Grandmother, being as wise as she was, wanted me to learn the other practices within my family. Subsequently, my Grandmother found the perfect opportunity for me to learn! I had two Aunts, twins, who both had no children. Each of them practiced a different Tradition. For summers on end, I stayed at my Aunt’s homes learning from them.
You can learn more about the Traditions of my Grandmother and my Aunts here: Paths
I learned much from my Aunts. One of my Aunts taught me and initiated me into Sanse - a Tradition of Puerto Rico. Due to the fact that my Aunt had no children, I also inherited her spiritual tableau.
Thus, trying to balance between looking after her tableau, my Grandmother’s tableau, and my own has been a great spiritual task for me.
My other Aunt was also a Sancista (practitioner of Sanse) but had also begun to practice of Dominican Vodou. She was initiated and took me to her own Godmother for training and initiation. There is so much knowledge in our family that it really is staggering. After her death, one of my cousins, whom my Aunt initiated directly, went on to inherit her spiritual tableau.
As I continued to grow, I began to gain a wider following and larger clientele. I worked for clients that my Grandmother had passed to me, but also for those whom were solely mine as well. I often read for my clients using a deck of cards, a mirror, or – at times – calling upon my Lwa and Guides to possess me.
I found spiritual work to be heavy and toiling. I didn’t want to do it growing up. I saw it as a burden that I didn’t want to bear. Maintaining an altar, resolving people’s problems, consulting for them is heavy work! Though, over time, I came to understand that spiritual work was not a burden but a gift. It was/is a mission given to me by God and the Spirits to help people. It is not something one can choose to do or not do, rather, it is something that we must do!
Houngan Hector with Inherited Spirit
Mama Ezili Dantor and Houngan Hector
|As I continued to grow, certain other Spirits, more obscure, started to show themselves in my dreams. They desired to be served, though I wasn’t yet clear on who they were! I went to my Grandmother, my Aunts, and my Godmother to try to understand who these guides were. I was stubborn and resistant toward these Spirits who informed me I was their child.They would tell me what to do, what they required and wanted from me, and eventually I found myself doing what they asked of me. Their abilities truly amazed me. Little did I know that I was actually serving the Lwa of Haitian Vodou! I actually came to find this out through watching a segment on television. During the segment, the names of many of the same spirits that I was seeing in my dreams were mentioned.So, naturally, I sought out more information on this beautiful and awe inspiring tradition. I learned that the rattle covered in beads with a bell that I was dreaming of was the Asson. The symbol and tool of the Vodou priesthood. In my dreams, two certain Lwa in particular were constantly putting this in my hand.As I continued to research and learn, I knew what I was being called to do. While serving these Lwa, I had seen many miracles in the lives of myself, my family, and my clients. I knew that I was being called to undergo the kanzo ceremony, the initiation into Haitian Vodou. So, I decided that if the Spirits would give me the means, I would undergo the initiation and serve with all my heart. Give me the means they did! And I received my initiation.
After my first initiation, I returned to Haiti to study the Vodou tradition in depth. I spent a lot of time living and learning in Haiti. I traveled the country learning from various Houngans/Mambos Djakout and Asogwe, Bokos, and other priests of this beautiful tradition. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I was called to be initiated again in Port Au Prince. I did so, and retook my oaths and vows to upholding the Vodou tradition. I am a member of a Vodou family with strong and very old roots in the tradition. I continue to learn and grow within the Vodou tradition. The more you know in Vodou, the more there is to learn. No one ever knows it all.
I was called to serve the Lwa again, but now in a different way. This Sosyete, Gade Nou Leve, was formed by me upon the direction of the Lwa Ginen. We are geared toward providing correct, authentic, and accurate information and initiation into the Vodou Tradition.
I have worked on this website with the goal of dispelling common myths about this beautiful Religion. Also to provide individuals with a sincere calling a method to attain the initiation or services of an honest, dependable Vodou Priest with many years of experience. Allowing individuals to freely find information that is all too common in Haiti for the public, yet rarely available here in the US.
I have been helping people since 1989 resolve their issues, and well over 11 years of helping people through the means of the Haitian Vodou tradition. Having gotten individuals out of jail, brought lovers back, and improved people’s financial situation, I keep myself humble remembering it is not I who does it. It is God and Ginen who resolves.
May God and Ginen bless you and yours always!
To keep up with me and all the newest happenings in the Sosyete or in my spiritual work, please click here for my blog